Even with LeBron James on one of his weakest nights of the season, the Miami Heat keep on winning, extending their winning streak to 18 games, the longest in this NBA season, while also continuing their revenge tour against the teams that beat them earlier this season, with Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh doing most of the damage on offense.
Mario Chalmers of all players led the team with 26 points on a big night from three for him, making 5-6. Chris Bosh scored 24 points as he once against struggled against the Indiana Pacers in the paint, but the Heat stole so many balls and not only kept Indiana from shooting well, they kept them from shooting at all, allowing only 63 field goal attempts. Dwyane Wade, who usually does very well against the Pacers, added 23 points.
LeBron James? Life against Paul George isn’t so easy for him, and the opposite is also true. James finished with 13 points, taking only 10 shots in his 36 minutes on the floor, which meant the game wasn’t so close, as the Heat ran away with a 105-91 win with strong pushes in the first and third quarters that kept the Pacers far away from causing any sort of upset. Paul George was on awful mode, making only 2-11 from the field, scoring 10 points and turning the ball over 5 times. The 13 points were his fewest since February 6, 2011 when he had 12 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
When you can win like this, we can go home, we can breathe easier, food tastes better, it makes life a lot better. That’s the goal, and I’m sure everybody in this locker room will say the same.
All your guys have to be live options and Rio took that to heart. He took shots he was capable of making. … He must be aggressive against the better defensive teams in the league.
If the last time the two teams met was about how the Pacers played perfect transition defense and simply let LeBron James do his thing while the others remained under lockdown, going down by nine points in the first quarter changed the game plan for the Pacers, who couldn’t afford to keep the game slow and ugly as usual, forcing them to give up on their slow kind of basketball. It didn’t work in their favor, allowing 27 points off their turnovers while scoring only 2 fast break points themselves.
The Heat improved their offensive efficiency by almost 19 points and it had to do with points coming off of turnovers. The 27 points Sunday were tied for fourth highest output this season. They scored 117.1 points per 100 possessions, compared to 98.9 in the first two games. They also shot a 61.5% eFG compared to 48.9% in the first two meetings.
And we couldn’t finish with a few more numbers that don’t necessarily mean anything – LeBron James has now won 18 games in a row with the Miami Heat, making it the longest winning streak in NBA history for a reigning MVP.
With the win, the Miami Heat are now 47-14, the best record in the NBA, with a 8.5 game lead over the Knicks and 9 over the Indiana Pacers.